The Plymouth Barracuda is one of the most iconic and sought after Mopar muscle cars ever made. And within the Barracuda lineup, there was the even more sought after ‘Cuda trim level. How special is it? For one example, only thirteen examples of the 1971 Hemi ‘Cuda convertible were ever built, and a blue on blue 4-speed example sold for an $3.5 million USD during a Mecum auction in Seattle. And for the third time in 10 years, FCA has motioned to file for the Cuda Trademark for “land vehicles, namely, passenger automobiles” with the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
The most recent filing for the Cuda trademark from FCA happened on October 12, 2020. This follows a following from June 16, 2017, while the first time in recent history happened December 15, 2010, following a Dodge “Barracuda” SEMA concept from 2007. This suggests that FCA is determined to use the “Cuda” name on an automobile in some form in the future.
Keep in mind, the Cuda trademark filing is different than a “Barracuda” trademark filing, which was the nameplate of the legendary Plymouth muscle car, while ‘Cuda was a trim level. To that end, the Barracuda was trademarked by FCA in January 9, 2012, and then in June 23, 2015. It’s since been abandoned by FCA. But with the “Cuda” name getting a new lease on life, maybe the same will soon be said for “Barracuda” as well.
What could the Cuda be? We can only take an educated guess at this time. So here goes. Since it’s a trim level, it’s likely going to be some variant of the Dodge Challenger. Historically, the ‘Cuda had a Hemi V8 engine, but it also came standard with the Slant 6. Recently, FCA patented a unique turbocharged straight six engine, codenamed GME-T6. Additionally, FCA placed a historically massive order with supplier ZF for automatic transmissions that will couple itself to hybridized engines. Could a Challenger Cuda usher in the first hybrid muscle car from Dodge? It would certainly be one hell of a strategy if so.
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I had a 440 Six-pack ‘Cuda when I was in college in the late 70s. Bought it cheap when gas prices spiked, drove it for a few years, and sold it to pay off my college.
If I had kept it, I’d be retired by now. 🙁